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Apartment vs. Hotel -- If you've done both which do you prefer and why?

Apartment vs. Hotel -- If you've done both which do you prefer and why?

Apr 2nd, 2007, 03:57 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 77
Apartment vs. Hotel -- If you've done both which do you prefer and why?

We have stayed in some beautiful hotels in Paris and last year we rented what would probably be considered an exceptional apartment on the Ile St Louis. In retrospect, the apartment probably cost us as much, if not more, than a high end hotel. This got me to thinking, I completely understand why families would rent apartments and honestly, that makes perfect sense given how difficult it is to find hotels that accommodate 4 or 5 people per room. However, if you're a couple traveling, I'm just curious as to why you would choose to rent an apartment instead of stay in a hotel? Is it simply to have that Parisean experience of what life might be like if you lived there? Or, is it because you cook some of your own meals so it ultimately saves some money in dining expense? Or is it simply because renting in most cases does work out less expensive than staying in a hotel?

Don't get me wrong, I loved the apartment and staying on the Isle St Louis is such a FANTASTIC location however, I personally don't cook while on vacation and I really missed having housekeeping service as well. Honestly, I'm just being nosey because I wondered what motivates people to choose one over the other.
Squeak is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 04:15 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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We rented an apartment last month because we were traveling with our teen grandsons and needed to have a kitchen to FEED them every 2 hours and the extra bed space. If it were just the two of us, I'd probably prefer the amenities of a hotel, having someone at the front desk if we needed help, etc.
That said, I'd stay in the apartment we had in a heartbeat, as I felt I was actually LIVING in Paris, walking to the bakery, the grocery, the butcher, but it WAS a little work. Hard call,
but if it were for less than a week I'd choose a hotel, more I'd choose an apartment.
Hagan is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 04:15 PM
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I like both but when I go to London, I prefer apartments because I like have a kitchen. I don't do a ton of cooking but I like to have my tea & whatever in the morning without having to get dressed.

I'm tired at night sometimes & it's fun to get some great take-out & veg out in front of the TV.

I don't have to worry about maids coming in to clean when possibly it isn't convenient to me, even though I know they won't with a Do Not Disturb sign on the door in a hotel.

I like having a washing machine.
Carrybean is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 04:17 PM
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We prefer apartments due to the extra space, having the kitchen elements, feeling like we are "home" in the mornings and evenings, having a washing machine, and being able to live like locals. Not to mention the price is often less.
Statia is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 04:18 PM
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I can't comment on Paris as I've only stayed in a hotel there, but we have stayed in apartments in other locations in Europe.

Usually we prefer apartments. Its not that we really do a lot of cooking on our vacations (although it is nice to have a chilled bottle of wine waiting for us when we get back!) but we like that apartments offer a chance to "live like a local" in an interesting neighborhood. They are usually more spacious and are almost always cheaper than staying in hotels. In Rome, for instance, we were able to stay in the Piazza Navona area, in a wonderful apartment off a small, quite side street, for a fraction of the cost of staying in a hotel. We were also surrounded by smaller trattorias and cafes well off the beaten tourist path.

I think it just depends on what you are looking for. We don't utilize most of the features that come with staying in a hotel, such as a concierge or a gym, so an apartment works well for us.

tcreath is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 04:22 PM
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For me it entirely depends on the situation. A couple of days in London, Paris or Rome - a hotel for sure.

A week in the same place - I'd choose a flat probably 90% of the time. Those 4 walls of a European hotel room can get awfully close after 2 or 3 nights.

Out in the countryside - a B&B is fine for up to maybe 3 or 4 nights. But for a week in one location, I'd rent a cottage every time.

Not always to save money - mostly for the extra space and amenities. I like a sense of living in the city or village instead of just passing through a hotel.
janisj is offline  
Apr 2nd, 2007, 04:50 PM
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I've never been anywhere more than a week, maybe it's that why I feel more comfortable at a hotel. One of the friends I travel with, loves aparhotels. He likes to have a kitchenette to save some meals at restaurants...but I don't think the savings are substantial when you go for three or four days. And I don't like the idea of living "like a local", I'm not a local and feel safer in a hotel where there are people 24 hours to help if I have some trouble. Maybe it is because my poor health, but I don't like to feel alone where I don't know the language enough.
kenderina is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 12:09 AM
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I have done both..and many times. Short trips, a hotel. I did that in February. The Westminster-Opera was really very nice.

I have an apt. rental for Oct., 2007 and April of 2008 and probably Oct., 2008. The Oct 2007 and April 2008, I will be having a friend for the one and my granddaughter for the other. More space needed. I don't cook, at home or away!

I have rented/hoteled on the Ile St. Louis, the 6th, 7th and 2nd. Next will be the 17th and 16th. My preference is the 7th for the location and the restaurants.

For a first timer to Paris a hotel with concierge service can be helpful. Hotels also have the taxi availability. There are pluses and minuses for both.
gracejoan3 is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 01:40 AM
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I prefer an apartment when I am with my husband in one place for more than a couple days at a time. It is great to have a separate bedroom where one person can sleep while the other is up and watching TV or reading. I love having the extra space and comfort, and places to sit other than the bed.

We don't do any real cooking, but we do like to buy food at the markets and have it for meals or snacks rather than going to restaurants three times a day. This way, I can do more at the markets than just take pictures and go window shopping; I can buy samples of the great produce and prepared foods we see.

We have never stayed in an apartment that cost more than a moderate hotel room.
Nikki is online now  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 02:48 AM
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We like apartments for stays of a week for three reasons: first, we get tired of eating out, compounded by the need to watch my weight/Type II diabetes. With an apartment, we tend to eat our large meal at noon and have breakfast and dinner (soup and salad) in, at least a couple of days. Second, it is nice to have a bit more space and a second room if someone is restless or has a headache. We are renting a studio in Paris this month, so we will not have that second advantage, but the space is still larger than the usual Paris hotel room. Finally, staying in an apartment allows/forces you to be in the neighborhood -- dealing with the concierge, the shopkeepers, other residents.
Ackislander is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 02:58 AM
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I prefer an apartment if possible as I'm up before my DH and enjoy being able to have my coffee, get ready, etc. without disturbing him. I don't need maid service and prefer not to have someone coming in my room. Our last trip was 19 days and I appreciated the washer...as we traveled very light. Our apartment cost us less then a hotel room!
travelfan1 is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 03:19 AM
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Neither. We prefer B&Bs sited in buildings typical of the area we're visiting.

But between apartments and hotels, we prefer small, family-owned hotels--also preferably in buildings typical for the area. First, the Mrs. doesn't want to see a kitchen while on vacation. Second, we don't spend that much time in our accomodations anyway, so space isn't much of an issue for us. Third, we've generally had a good experience with the owners and staff of B&Bs and small hotels--to the point of making life-long friends and even having them visit us on their trips to the USA.

But it really depends entirely on personal preference, family makeup (children, singles, couples, ages, etc.), and where/when the travel is taking place.

There is no best way or worst way.
Jake1 is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 03:32 AM
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Personally I prefer hotels no matter how short or long my stay is.

That said, aparthotels are becoming very popular and I will always consider these if the price is right.

In US there are major chains of aprthotels in city centers and airport locations. In Europe it's more of limited choice, ay least at the moment, but they are available.

Aparthotels offer some of the conveniences of a hotel. Usually a 24 hour front desk, a concierge, belldesk, etc. Many have swimming pools/gyms and restaurants/bars right on the property. In US daily cleaning is also usually thrown in. I only stayed at 2 European aparthotels and cleaning was not one of the perks but it does not mean it's not offered at others.
AAFrequentFlyer is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 05:41 AM
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Apartment, no question. Because:

In our case, we make sure an apt is cheaper than a hotel.

There's no maid to interrupt you every morning.

You can sleep in and not worry about making it downstairs to breakfast because there's a coffee pot in the apt. and usually a bakery down the street.

And, we always make sure there's a washer/dryer in the place so we can take 2 week trips with only a carry-on knapsack.

NanBug is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 05:56 AM
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We rent apartments because we have three kids and I like us all to be together, rather than in two hotel rooms. With that said, it will be interesting to see what DH and I will do when it is just us.

For now, I like the extra space. I love being able to have breakfast food available. It is such a time saver to be able to have some people eating while others are getting ready, rather than having to wait until everyone is ready to go down to breakfast. If there's a washing machine, that is fantastic.

However, I do miss having a hotel employee available to call cabs, make reservations, etc.

The IDEAL place was the Corte Grimani in Venice....it is a very nice, small (15 rooms) "all suites" hotel, with living room/kitchen/dining room (with sofa bed), master bedroom, and tiny second bedroom. We had the room of a small apartment, with the services of a hotel.
missypie is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 06:12 AM
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My husband and I like apartments.
He sleeps in and I need space to move around because I'm an early riser. I LOVE TO COOK and its a thrill for me to purchase the ingredients and prepare them with our wine, my version of hors d'ouvres. I enjoy that no maid service is threatening our privacy. I like to make coffee, have juice and we wake up gracefully.
But for a quick shot, a couple of days in some place, yes then, a hotel.
SuzieCII is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 06:16 AM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 37
Depending where we are and for how long determines if we use a hotel or an apartment. In Tuscany and Positano, we rented apartments, and plan to do so again next year. I love being able to get up and have breakfast sitting on a quiet patio with a beautiful view. I also like to go to the markets, and bring back some of the produce and cook our supper a few times a week. This makes for a much more leisurely trip, and often finding a good restaurant is difficult. Having said that, we also enjoy the small hotels we have stayed in, in Venice and Paris.
MaggieT is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 08:43 AM
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Always an apartment over a hotel and then if short stay a b & b over a hotel. We hate the intrusiveness of a hotel and lack of privacy and space. My pet hate is nowhere but the bed to sit which can be a problem in b & bs too. Apartments feel more like a home, albeit a temporary one, with kitchen for breakfast and snacks and keeping wine etc. Separate living and sleeping area. No contest for us.
eliza3 is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 09:10 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
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Hi, my husband and I have done both and both prefer to rent an apartment.

More room, more privacy and a real feeling of living in the city one is visiting - shopping in local markets, bakeries etc. is a big part of what we find fun. Nice to have our morning coffees in (we aren't big breakfast eaters) and after a tiring day in museums to enjoy a glass of wine while putting together a simple meal.

We often eat lunch out and also stop at cafes for a drink or dessert and some people watching but save tons of money this way. Also being vegetarian it's much easier as well.

I also look for a washer/dryer and dishwasher, a sit down dining table and a separate bedroom. The apartments have had a weekly cleaning included.
lucyp is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2007, 09:17 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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If I'm traveling to a city that I feel I know well and have a week or more to spend then I lean towards an apt. But I would try to get one in a more residential part of town to make me feel more "native". If I still feel like I'm in unfamiliar territory then I would stay in a hotel more for the comfot of knowing I an get informaition or help if I need to.

I've only rented once, this past Jan. in Rome and I would do it again for the reasons listed above.
sandi_travelnut is offline  

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